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Burning Girls

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,241 ratings  ·  202 reviews
Burning Girls, by Veronica Schanoes, is a fascinating dark fantasy novella about a Jewish girl educated by her grandmother as a healer and witch growing up in an increasingly hostile environment in Poland in the late nineteenth century. In addition to the natural danger of destruction by Cossacks, she must deal with a demon plaguing her family.
Kindle Edition, 54 pages
Published June 19th 2013 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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In America, they dont let you burn. My mother told me that.

review to come.

read it for yourself here:
Richard Derus
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.8* of five

My Nebula Novella Nominees reading continues. Burning Girls by Veronica Schanoes was a 4.8-star experience for me, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

There is some wonderful writing going on in the SF/F genre these days, and I couldn't be more excited by discovering some high-quality new-to-me storytellers.

Starting with this publication, permaybehaps she will be the author of a whole collection. Until now, she's been in anthologies like Queen Victoria's Spells and the
Learning and skill are things to be proud of; they are the stars that light the sky of one's lifetime.

Growing up in Poland, Deborah has been trained by her bubbe in ancient arts that many consider to be witchcraft. She becomes a godsend to her village through her skills that involve treating illness and all manner of womanly woes. But, will her training be enough to help her keep her baby brother safe from a powerful demon? And years later, after she and her sister have arrived in America, will
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: freebies
Intricately woven tale of religion, superstition and fable. The reimagining of the elements used are impressive in this turn of the twentieth century novella.

But I had the power. I knew already that I could be useful.

FREE to read HERE:
The ending gutted me...gave me goose bumps.

Wonderful and yet so terribly sad.
Nicholas Kaufmann
I find myself speechless in trying to describe how good this novella is. I'm tempted to just write READ IT NOW and leave it at that, but as a review that would hardly be convincing enough. Part historical fantasy, part horror tale, BURNING GIRLS takes Jewish folklore out of the shtetl, brings it to the New World, and applies it to one of New York City's most notorious and lasting tragedies. To say it blew me away would be an understatement. In only a short number of pages, Schanoes creates ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So scary , so messed up
Kayla Beck
I'm typing sentences, deleting them, and attempting to write more. I don't know what to really say except that Burning Girls left me speechless. I started reading the story without reading any reviews or the words italicized at the start. It was on Tor.Com - what else did I need to know?

What I found in Burning Girls was a striking mixture of witchcraft, Judaic mythology, fairy tale, history, and feminism. The more I read, the more I was sucked in by the writing of Veronica Schanoes. She weaved
Heartbreaking. I thought I knew what was coming, because I identified the story upon which it was based. I missed the biggest clues of all. Gorgeous writing.
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's one of those stories that are much bigger than they seem first, and I'm delighted about the recognition it got.

I came across this novella almost by accident. Not the ones that involve tripping or any other misfortune, instead I prefer to point my finger at Fate.
In what I guess are 31 pages, the author weaves _ and in this I'm afraid I'll have to resort to the same old tropes _ a heartbreaking story with roots in the historical fiction, magical realism, fairy tale retellings and horror domains.

"In America, they dont let you burn. My mother told me that.
When we came to America, we brought anger and
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
Every now and then, in the midst of all the dross, you read something that moves you. Veronica Schanoes's Burning Girls is just one such story.

Set in the late 19th century, Burning Girls is about Deborah, the daughter of Polish Jews in the years after Cossacks stopped burning villages but while the threat of pogroms against Jews was still very real. While her sister is raised to follow her mother as a seamstress, Deborah is trained by her grandmother to be a witch. She uses a white magic that
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In America, they don't let you burn. My mother told me that.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book - loved the writing and the story. I am a big fan of magical realism and for 1 cent on Amazon this is definitely worth the read.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2016
It's a pity it was so short. And I would have loved some notes at the end about the historical events that inspired the story. But the weaving together of a fantastical narrative and true events was excellent and poignant.
I can see why this gets all the rave reviews. Compelling, good use of fairy tale tropes.
Suanne Laqueur
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short story of Jewish mysticism combining Rumplestiltskin and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. I know. Just read it. Seriously. Its terrific. ...more
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
When I was looking for my next tor shorty, I decided on this one because I really enjoyed Veronica Schanoes other story, Among the Thorns which I thought was a much more successful story than this one.

This one is pretty much teetering on 2.5 stars, and I rounded up because I do enjoy this author's writing style immensely and I think I would have liked it more had I not read Among the Thorns first. The plot for this one just felt forced and cliche for me, and was too much like the other story I
There is a lot of history and a lot of life packed into this one story. It really is one of the best stories I've read this year among all of the many award nomination processes, smart, clever and still enjoyable to read, but still important to remember. The whole package. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novella in 2013 against a strong field.

It was interesting that two other Nebula nominated novellas were also historical fiction. I strongly preferred this to Wakulla Springs,
Jack Stark
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fresh take on the historical witches folk tale. Full of dark atmosphere, Jewish culture, and oppressive atrocities. Well written with a well voiced protagonist easy to invest in. I enjoyed how this really brought to life how the righteous men of the New World manipulated the naivety and desperation of those seeking a safer life, and how it doesn't follow the expected path.
Neil (or bleed)
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novellas, 2019-reads
I'm in awe.
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully Conceived and Written

(Caution: minor spoilers below!)

Born in Bialystok, Poland at the turn of the century, Deborah is possessed of the power like her bubbe. Deborah is a witch, and spends her summers in training with grandmother Hannah: learning to assist in childbirth, cure common ailments, terminate unwanted pregnancies, craft blessings and talismans, and drive away demons. But Deborah's magic is little help against the growing tide of antisemitism sweeping through Europe; and when
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kindle freebies can go either way, but this one was very good. Marketed as dark fantasy, but to me it read as fiction with a mythical aspect. This novella tells a story of an Eastern European Jewish female experience both in the old country and the new one. It's a fine piece of historical fiction ending with an all too real all too tragic fire, putting a fine point to the fact that there were many ways to get burned for the oppressed minorities on either side of the world. Excellent writing and ...more
Jack Haringa
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
Schanoes was a very deserving winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for best novella for this fine entry in a field of excellent work. She blends myth and folklore, history and horror into a compelling narrative about characters who act and feel real. Her use of the real tragedies of the Russian persecution of Jews and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire are heartfelt and powerful, never exploitative, raising the narrative to a transcendent and devastating level.
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook
A short novella touching on the Cossacks invading Poland, surviving young Jewish women coming to America where they thought they'd be safe, and learning otherwise the hard way. It takes place around the time of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, and the story has women working in the factories being treated horribly. Part of the story has the girls fighting off demons with witchcraft, which I skimmed. Too short to become very invested in it, but not bad.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a surprise!

A mix of remixed fairy tale and historical fiction rolled into one well written story.

I think I bought this novella because of the cover and the first line. "In America, they don't let you burn. My mother told me that."

I always want to know why?
Mariana Ferreira
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
BRILLIANT. Even though it's based on a quite well-known story, it is fresh, bold, feminist, full of witchcraft and a political background and references to religion that are actually relevant. Pure gold. It's so colorful the real world looks pale after reading it.
Weronika Zimna
A really, really good short story. The last sentence shocked me. Definitely worth reading.

Nadal bawię się w Bookathon i o Burning Girls ględzę też tutaj:
Artur Nowrot
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-women
I loved this mixture of history of Jews in Poland and America, Jewish magic and folklore, and a stealth re-telling of a famous fairy tale (which I noticed when it's been all but spelled out). I'm deducting a star for the (view spoiler) ...more
I don't know what happened; this story had everything a good story needs, but honestly...we didn't click.
Yes, it made me browse online to learn more about the story background (Jewish folklore/mythology, history of emigration/immigration, etc.), it kept me on the edge of my seat a couple of times, but for the rest...

It's not a good sign when you keep checking how much till the end (it was 32 pages of story, that felt three times longer).
Still, it made me think and it was nicely written. 3
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Sci-fi and Heroic...: "Burning Girls" by Veronica Schanoes 18 39 Dec 04, 2014 12:47AM  

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